• John Jacobson with the car in its original condition at New Brighton Beach

Peter Leversedge’s 1949 Stuart V8 Special No. 77

September 10th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

Peter’s desire to go racing originated with an exciting trip to Christchurch’s then only speedway at Aranui as a small boy. Quick on the heels of the speedway experiences came the Mairehau street race, a venue that circled his family home. [This was a path very similar to my introduction to motor racing and something [...]

  • His skills as a driver trainer are almost black magic. Today he’s given up racing, but continues to train the world’s top drivers – and play music!

The Huapai Kid – Classic Racer

September 10th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

The international motor racing world knows him as ‘Rob Wilson’, but to me he is Robert Wilson – and always will be. I make no apologies for referring to him as Robert in this story. He left New Zealand for the UK in 1972 at the age of 20, having owned just one car (an [...]

Porsche and the 356 Celebrate Their 70th Anniversary

September 9th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

In June 1947 Ferdinand Porsche allotted project number 356 to a new car design he was working on at his factory in Gmünd. This new car was to be built with Volkswagen parts – all that was available to Porsche in those immediate post-war years. During March 1948 the first Type 356 car (356–001) was [...]

Seventy Years of Lotus Cars (Part Two)

September 9th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

At the time of Chapman’s death in December 1982 the facts of the DeLorean affair were starting to become known. The British Inland Revenue were after Lotus and imposed an £84 million claim on the company. By 1983 the company was almost bankrupt. Mark Thatcher, son of Margaret, convinced David Wickins (later to be known [...]

1961 Cole-Baker Special

September 9th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

We trace the history of a unique, locally built special that started off life with a Morris Minor engine before finally gaining Rover V8 power. Like virtually all Kiwi specials, this car was put together on a shoe-string budget by one man – in this case Dan Cole-Baker, a teacher from Raglan. In 1959 when [...]

  • Graeme Lawrence in the Ferrari Dino 246T (Chris Charles Collection)

A Mechanic’s Tale

September 9th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

Chris Charles knew from an early age he wanted to be in motorsport. From the day a neighbour took him to a Lady Wigram Trophy meeting when he was ten years old he read all he could about motorsport. He wrote to ‘The Secretary, Motor Racing Club, Christchurch’ when he was 14 to say he [...]

  • 2CV at Mt John

Citroën 2CV: Paragon or Paradox

September 9th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

Paragon in that the 2CV met its design objectives with complete success; paradox, in that it was just too quirky for full public acceptance? Whichever way you see it, we’re looking at an all-time classic car, a very different and completely unmistakeable vehicle that like the VW Beetle retained the same shape and basic design [...]

Young Gun – Bain Endurance Classic

June 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

As humans there are sounds we hear throughout our life that no matter where you are or in what situation you hear them, certain memories come flooding back. To me strangely, one of these sounds is the dull thud of a steel-framed, English-made aluminium door shutting against the body of a Land Rover. In fact, [...]

  • Otago Classic Rally podium – John Silcock/Grant Marra (Mazda RX-7), Regan Ross/Samantha Gray (Ford Escort RS1800) and Deane Buist/Karl Celeste (VW Golf) (Photo Alison Kerr)

Classic Rallying

June 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

Rallying is enjoying resurgence at a national level, but the classic component of this type of competition has developed its own unique status in a similar manner to circuit racing classics. This is especially evident in the annual Otago Rally, with the 2018 edition boasting a bumper field of 50 classic cars within an overall [...]

Seventy Years of Lotus Cars (Part One)

June 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

In 1947, Colin Chapman’s secondhand car business failed, a direct consequence of the UK’s post-war economic crisis. Only 19 at the time, all that Chapman was left with was a tired old Austin 7. Not one to sit by and watch the world pass him by, the teenager teamed up with two mates – Colin [...]